We are very pleased to send you the November/December edition of Oecumene Dialogues, our monthly newsletter.
Summary of items covered in this issue:
- Audio recording available: Symposium 'Deorientalizing citizenship?'
- Blog: 'As a citizen of the world...'
- Blog: 'Men as People'
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1. Audio recording available: Symposium 'Deorientalizing citizenship?'
Audio recordings of all keynote lectures and panel presentations are now available on our website. The video recordings will follow soon early next year.
2. Blog: 'As a citizen of the world...'
By Brendan Donegan
During one of my visits to India I spent some time talking to people who were engaging with local processes of land acquisition for industrial development. I learned that local people took different positions on these processes. Some land owners felt that it was becoming increasingly difficult to make a living from agriculture, and anticipated that they could use the proceeds from the sale of their land to start a new life in the city. Some farmers believed claims made by the state government and companies that they would be able to get jobs in the factories that would be established, and believed that this work would be more remunerative than agriculture; in addition, they felt that office jobs in "shirt-pants" would be more dignified and higher status than working as farmers. Some landless agricultural labourers pointed out that 1) their lack of education meant they would not be eligible for the promised factory jobs, 2) the sale of the lands they work on would force them into different fields of employment which would in all probability involve even more precarious labour conditions than those they currently experience, and 3) under existing government policy they were not eligible for compensation for loss of livelihoods.
3. Blog: 'Men as People'
By Raghda Butros
Is being a man in the Arab world truly cause for celebration? Not if you happen to be a fourteen to twenty-four year old male in Amman, where it has become common practice to exclude young men from public and semi-public spaces. This trend is on the rise, and reflects a deeper issue of class discrimination, which receives very little public attention, despite having serious social implications. Exclusion and class discrimination serve to bolster a public discourse which renders marginalization socially acceptable, promote unnatural forms of class and gender segregation that prevent the natural functioning of society, exacerbate factors that justify exclusion, and feed into much more complex social challenges, of which exclusion is merely a symptom.